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MiniDoom2 gets a full Soundtrack

For miniDoom1 we used fan made music from cover albums (“Dark side of Phobos” and “DoomII: Delta-Q-Delta”). Awesome music indeed, but maybe not appropriate for every level.

This time the will have a complete soundtrack, this means that every level will have its own music according to its theme.

Responsive music and transitions

The music in some levels will vary according to the environment such as electric blasts in level 2 that will trigger an electric guitar, it will also slow down when opening the weapon select menu and other effects such as that.

Also the music will have a normal version for the normal or platforming sections of the levels and another version for the closed fights that will be much more aggressive and fast.

Here’s a really small sample of the music with some gameplay.

A third member joins the dev team to take charge of music and other aspects of sound design! He is very talented and will give all the music the Doom flavor it deserves.

Oh and don’t worry this won’t delay the game further, he’s already been working on the music for months.

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Go to hell

As we mentioned before half the game takes place in hell. We wanted to make a nice transition from mars to hell. So we made a portal loosely based on the one from Doom2016!

I’m quite happy with how it turned out, the artist went ham on the concept and came up with a room that was way bigger than the camera so you have to walk around the room to get the full view of it.

The full room, it’s the end of level6 and the first half of the game.
It has some nice lightning effects in-game but I removed them for the capture because of the camera-shaking too much.
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Respawning Enemies and Game Progress

During playtesting respawning enemies seemed to cause confusion. People usually play rushing through the stages and killing any enemies in sight, but when required to navigate a stage or backtrack a bit they would start killing enemies that respawn without realizing that they had already cleared that area.

Some of the new decorations and graphics.

This made me rethink the whole respawning enemies deal. Was it really necessary? What’s the point of enemies respawning anyway? I couldn’t find a reason to leave it in game. So now enemies behave much like items. They won’t respawn if you leave the room, but they will respawn if you die of course. The only exception to this is killing rooms. Once you clear a fight you won’t have to do it again even if you die before reaching another checkpoint.

About game progress

More new objects to interact with

I realize there has been a lack of updates recently, sorry about that. We have been advancing steadily but we can’t share many of the things we are working on right now because many of them would spoil the game.

We are currently polishing level design and completing missing graphics. And damn it takes a long time! We also have someone helping out with music and sound (hope I can share more on this soon).

What is this?? I just cant tell you 🙁

That said I will find something or other to update every week, don’t want to stay silent. More stuff coming soon, see you next week.

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Secrets and score

So the score screen is lot different from the classic Doom’s, this one is a lot simpler. This is to save the score you get and display it in the overworld map too.

Classic Doom score screen counted kills items and secrets in a percentage basis. Then it counted your time vs a level standard time. We wanted to take this into MiniDoom if possible but ended up making some changes along the way.

Ye olde screen

We don’t use percentages because we wanted to store and display your score for each level, and to display a score in 5 different parameters was a lot of info on the screen. So the score is just one parameter that goes from 0 to 5. If you meet one of the scores’ criteria for that level (like enough kills) you get one point to your score.

Also the “items” score parameter had to go. Its no fun to go grab every last health bonus, this isn’t Banjo Kazooie.

The score parameters

hmmmm dat screen melt

Kills: Of course you will be awarded this point if you kill most of the enemies you encounter. Summoned enemies (like lost souls from a pain elemental) don’t count towards this score, however enemies that respawn do count.

Deaths: If you die too many times in a level you won’t get this point.

Time: Gotta go fast. This score gives a margin for time wasted dying the allowed amount of times.

Difficulty: Playing in any difficulty harder than normal will award this point.

Secrets: You do not need to find all secrets in one go. All secrets you find are saved and you won’t need to find them again if you want a good score.

You can check your score and secrets from the overworld map

So since “Score” is one whole thing from 0 to 5 to get a perfect one you need to do all 5 things at once, you can’t get “kills” in one go, then try for “time” the next time you play. Except with secrets, take your time exploring.

Secrets

We want to include a lot of secrets in the game and we needed a way for players to know which secrets they already found and which are missing. So we use a collectible item to mark this: Runes.

Runes dont have graphics yet hehe… they will probably look something like that (Doom2016)

So secret areas may contain standard pickups or some other secret thing, in these cases the area will also contain a Rune. Runes do not respawn once picked up, so you will have a better idea of where you have already been if you reenter a level looking for secrets. Secret areas may also contain small upgrades to your total life, armor, or ammo; these count towards the total secrets found for each level. And of course they don’t respawn either.

Runes do not do anything by themselves but collecting them will unlock extra cool things in the game, if you are into that sort of thing.

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Checkpoints and Keys

Life before checkpoints

Previously the game used keys as a sort of checkpoint. Once you got a key and died, you didn’t need to get it again and could just access the next area of the level. This was a clever shortcut I took to making checkpoints since the game was made in a rush.

We even have fancy new doors for each key.

This had a side effect though, all restricted color doors had to be around the starting point so they weren’t frustrating to get to after dying. Levels in MiniDoom1 had to be modular and all grow around the starting room this meant they couldn’t really be very different. BUT NO MORE!

And a gorgeous hell themed door set.

Life now

The implementation of killing rooms (fighting challenges) meant that a quicker retry method was needed! So yeah now we do have checkpoints, there are many in each level and you will always find one before a challenging battle.

Can you tell where we got inspiration for the design? I bet you can.

Keys still restrict access to areas and in some levels you will have to get a key then backtrack to a central hub to its color door. But now it’s not a necessity so levels are much more varied. One even follows a linear structure of checkpoints and fights where there are no keys.

The forced suicide problem

MiniDoom2 has no “lives” you can die and respawn infinitely; dying will respawn you with full health and a little ammo. This also meant that if you reach a checkpoint with low health it was better for you to kill yourself and respawn refilled. I hate this in games, especially the megaman series where it’s mandatory to game over after every boss just to refill your extra lives…

I like my marines well-done. (sorry about the mouse)

So yeah, there were 2 ways to go about this. 1: Don’t reward the player for dying (respawning with low life or ammo or no BFG ammo OR implement an extra life system). 2: Just fill the player’s health and ammo at each checkpoint as if he/she died and design the levels accordingly. I obviously chose the second option because it led to less player frustration.

This means that at every checkpoint the player is refreshed and between checkpoints there has to be a challenge according to that. I actually like this a lot, the progression is designed checkpoint to checkpoint and not necessarily as a whole level where the player can’t die. Every section of the level can be challenging and interesting!!

See you next time.

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The Game Maker Studio 2 switch

Recently we pooled some resources and bought Game Maker 2 (MiniDoom was made in Game Maker Studio 1.4) we did this mainly to work with a few audio plugins, which will allow us to modify sounds and music in real time. Here are some thoughts about the switch to 2.

Everything is nice and ordered now

So how is this upgrade relevant? This will hopefully be better for game stability (Less likely for bugs to come up) and supposedly better for hardware detection. I gotta say, how the workspace works is A LOT better, you can have multiple tabs and objects open at once, and just scroll through them. It also looks a lot better.

So far xBox360 Gamepad seems to work perfectly 😀

The main reason to change the software was to use audio plugins that will allow us to modify or add filters for our sounds and music (Specifically the WWise plugin). We are very excited about this part and will give more details as soon as we can.

Level making just got way easier with box selection (yeah that dint exist before…)

For anyone interested in Game Maker Studio 2. Well it’s definitely better, but most of its changes are just to the interface. So nothing revolutionary, but it makes the level design a lot faster. And I’m really liking the workspace. Is it really worth paying to upgrade? Well in our case it was, but it won’t always be the case for everyone. I’d recommend searching youtube for more detailed comparisons between the versions if you doubt switching.

More things to come, see you soon.

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MiniDoom2 Cover 01

Well here is the first attempt to make a fake box art for the game. Nope, the game wont exist in any physical form, and yeah, it doesn’t really need a cover… But it looks cool! And was damn fun to make!

So I took Inspiration from the old Mega Man covers where there was a bunch on enemies in the back and some ridiculous terrain haha. Also tried to keep the cartoony style as best as I could.

As I explained in our facebook page; I want to make an open gallery in the website for submitting cover arts or just fan art for MiniDoom, I’m sure someone out there can give it a more deserving treatment.

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Bestiary

Another convenient chart. This one contains all the enemies in the game!

I arranged all the enemies in 4 tiers depending on their combat capability. Of course each tier adds a more complex behavior or just bigger numbers to an enemy’s arsenal. This chart does not represent the order on which you will meet these enemies in the game, you can see barons of hell very early, but mini-arachnotrons very late in game.

Tier 4 enemies cannot be stunned by the chainsaw, also the Hell Knight. I’d say the hell knight is in a point between 3 and 4, it has a lot of damage, but not a lot of hitpoints.

Below the enemy name is their type.

Roamer: Walks around aimlessly and will attack if you get in range.

Chaser: Will move towards you and try to smash you with its body.

Hunter: Will keep a close distance to the player, attacking with ranged attacks when far, and melee attacks when up close.

Sniper: Will try to keep a far distance from the player, attacking with long-range fire or spawning other enemies.

Of course, any of the enemies can have the Chosen modifier, which increases its life and can change its behavior.

It makes me happy to see all these cheerful demons in one place.
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The Summoner

The summoner is a slippery flying enemy that can be really difficult to kill. As the name implies, he can summon other demons. The summoner floats around the room and prefers to keep away from the player, letting it’s summoned demons do the dirty work.

Killing the summoner can be tricky because it spawns with a shield that can take a few hits (a weaker version of the armored-pinky shield). If the shield is destroyed and the summoner starts taking damage, it will teleport away from the player and regenerate its shield. For this reason using splash damage is most effective against summoners.

Rockets are almost mandatory

Summoners can also attack by throwing a slow traveling energy wave at the player. This attack can go through walls and is very wide, but is kind of slow. Summoners have a really slow fire rate, so they aren’t very dangerous without their minions.

And of course the sommoner can summon lesser demons. There is a chance the it summons a hellraiser or a smaller chance it summons a new imp or a pinky. Right now those are the only 3 demons that can be summoned. I might add revenants or heavy weapons dudes to the list later, but I haven’t tested them with so much summoning variety yet. Don’t worry they have a limit to how many enemies can be summoned at a time (right now its 3).

You can actually bypass the shield with clever angling

Even without their shield summoners are very tough and hard to catch. These enemies should be your first priority on any battle! Kill them before they fill the room with enemies! (A couple of unmaker shots are the best option)

Nice mid-air weapon switch, brah
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Hell Knight

We are showing the hell knight just now because all of its sprites were redrawn and are sharper than ever.
The hell knight is a large tanky chaser enemy than can deal a lot of damage and disrupt your movement by pushing you around, jumping and blocking your way.


What makes hell knights dangerous is their large size. Their running speed is not too high, but they accelerate when jumping. They can also jump higher depending if the player is positioned much higher than they are.

Learn how they behave and you’ll easily dodge them

All this makes them hard to avoid if you cannot focus them 1 on 1.
There are many ways to avoid hell knights. You can even roll through them but your timing has to be good.

Easiest way is to wait till they jump and slam the ground and jump over them at that point. Trying to jump over a running hell knight can cause them to jump to intercept you, and you don’t want to get hit by that (while jumping they have increased damage and knock-back power).


When a hell knight slams the ground it launches a small fire wave that travels over the ground. Don’t get distracted by this, it doesn’t deal as much damage as the knight and it doesn’t push. A chosen hell knight can launch a fire wave that travels way longer.


Hell knights can be hard to ignore with their size and mobility, get used to their way of movement so you can better engage them in a group fight.

Hes big but ignore that bastard, focus on archviles